Scientists Strive to Use Actinobacillus Pleuropneumoniae Secreted Molecules to Fight PRRS

Farmscape for August 25, 2023

Full Interview 13:54 Listen

Researchers with the University of Montreal in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc are working to apply molecules secreted by one infection that inhibit the replication of another to the development of new antiviral drugs to treat Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. Research conducted by the University of Montreal looking at the interactions between the virus responsible for PRRS and other disease-causing pathogens found that molecules secreted by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae inhibit the replication of the PRRS virus. Dr. Carl Gagnon, a professor with the University of Montreal and a member of the swine and poultry infectious disease research center, says, with funding provided by Swine Innovation Porc, scientists are characterising the mechanisms of action of these compounds, which are know as nucleosides.

Quote-Dr. Carl Gagnon-University of Montreal:
Nucleoside analogs are already known in humans to be part of some antiviral drugs. We confirmed that the molecule secreted by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae possesses an antiviral effect against PRRS virus and, based on that result, we looked at already know antiviral drugs that are used for human viruses and we are testing some already known drugs to see if they can have an effect against PRRS virus. But we also have to look at the bigger picture because sometimes human antiviral drugs are quite expensive and unfortunately, for those kinds of drugs, I don’t know how they can be applied in real situations at the barn level because of the costs which would be very high.

However, we are also trying to figure out what is the mechanism of action of the Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae secreted molecules and we hope that by identifying and characterising the mechanism of action then we can find other molecules that could block those mechanisms to be able to have an antiviral drug and hopefully to develop a drug that will be more accessible to the industry in terms of cost.

Dr. Gagnon says the hope is, within a few years, to have a good way to control PRRS.

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